A SINGLE mum is pleading for support to return a derelict corner shop to its former glory - following a planning wrangle with the council.

Sara Winlow bought the former Southbank Stores on the corner of Balmoral Terrace and Count de Burgh Terrace - with the dream of opening a coffee shop and florist on the ground floor and creating somewhere for herself and her eight-year-old son to live on the first and second floors.

She applied for planning permission to create an extension - but council officers have recommended the scheme is turned down at a meeting on Thursday.

Sara launched a petition - which has been signed by more than 530 people.

She said: “I’m just upset. Everyone wants to see this Victorian shop restored and working for the community.

“And it was going to be my chance to start my own business and create a nice hub for the community.

“With the Terry’s site being turned into housing it’s a chance to allow people to get to local shops on foot. I thought the council would be supportive.

“We have struggled with planning all the way along. We have kept changing our plans and they suggested we reduced it right down to a very tiny extension and a dormer for the staircase.

“This is the bare minimum. We followed everything they asked for."

Sara has lived in York for more than eight years and was hoping to open the shop in May - but the council says her plans for an extension will make neighbouring residents "feel unduly hemmed in".

A report prepared for Thursday's meeting says: "The additional mass of the two storey rear extension and rear roof dormer would be detrimental to the pattern of the existing buildings and the spacing between them."

Sara has urged people to write letters of support by visiting planningaccess.york.gov.uk and searching for reference 19/02133/FUL. View the petition at change.org/p/york-city-council-planning-department-victorian-shop-set-for-closure.